Little Miss Westie (2018) Movie Script

Luca: Ren. Do you want to win?
If you could time travel,
where would you go and why?
Ren: I'd go back to when I was
three or four, and tell my mom
and dad that I was a girl.
And I wasn't happy being a boy.
Luca: Living as a boy.
Ren: Living as a boy.
Ren: Living as a boy. Luca:
Repeat. What's the answer?
Luca: Repeat. What's the answer?
Ren: If I could go back in time
I would go back to when I was
or 4 to tell my mom and dad
That I am a girl and
that I didn't want to go on
living as a boy.
I'm a kangaroo, now!
Luca: Since when
is she a kangaroo?
What did I? Did I not say not
to play the background music?
Ren: That's not background
music That's me playing.
Luca: Ok, well stop.
Ren! Stop.
I keep telling you to stop.
Mom (Shelley): I get so confused
sometimes I misgender the animals.
You know I'll say,
I'll call Mack "he" and
then I'll correct myself and
say "she" and then I'll say no,
wait, he is a he.
When we first got Mack, I
went with the kids to Petco to get
Mack a winter coat and
they wanted to get Mack
a fluffy tutu skirt. And I
said but Mack's a boy dog!
And both kids were
just like horrified with me.
They said "Don't put your
gender roles on our dog!"
Ren: Yeah! Maybe
he's a transgender dog!
Luca: He doens't have to be a
transgender dog to wear a skirt.
Ren: You have
to give him a tutu.
Mom (Shelley): I don't think any
dog really wants to wear a tutu.
Male or female.
Ren: OK, we'll get
Roswell a tutu [cat growls].
Luca: OK you can put it on her.
Ren: No, no.
Daddy puts it on her.
Dad (Chris): We have two
children, a boy and a girl.
Mom (Shelley): What
kind of bagels did you get?
Dad (Chris): And it
was a girl and a boy.
As far as the gender dynamics
they've switched genders in the
past couple of years but it
hasn't affected who they are
I don't think as much as
solidifying who they are.
Luca is a sullen teenager.
Ren is a bubbly young lady.
Luca: You've
never said it period.
When have you ever said shut up?
Ren: I might say "Can
you please just shut up?"
Luca: She still said
PLEASE shut up.
Mom (Shelley): Little Miss Westie
is a huge thing in West Haven.
Ren doesn't know most of the
other kids who are involved in it
and so she gets to
go in and just be a girl.
And be kind of a girly girl.
So this allows her to kind of
explore who she's becoming
more so than who she's
been or who she is right now.
Ren: Little Miss Westie website.
Includes dress up portion...
A glitz and glitter section...
and an optional talent portion.
The pageant names an overall
supreme winner and then chooses
champions for each age category.
Prizes include tiaras,
sashes, trophies, cash.
This year I shall
compete like Luca did.
Mom (Shelley): When Luca had
done Little Miss Westie several
years back when he
was still living as a girl
it was really
important for his growth
as a person.
Luca: It was really fun for me.
Except when I lost because
then I started crying on stage.
Because I'm a crybaby.
It's really embarrassing because
I'm not a good dancer at all.
But like, the process
was really fun.
Mom (Shelley): I'm not
a pageant person myself.
I mean to me, you know, like,
I kind of thought I was done
when Luca was done and so
then when Ren wanted to do it it was
a little bit like O K.
Mom (Shelley) & Luca:
Luca: Jojo is so
confused. Look at him.
In Little Miss Westie next year.
You can dress in like an outfit
that represents your personality
or whatever.
Ren: This is how I
become the LGBT Fairy.
Luca: And this is
gonna be her outfit.
Ren: You cannot have an
outfit without a squid hat.
Can you?
Mom (Shelley): I said to
Luca, "that is a squid, right?"
Luca: Oh, my GOD!
Luca was like "what
is wrong with you?!?"
Mom (Shelley): "Of
course it's a squid".
Ren: What else would it be?
Luca: She thought
it was genitalia.
Mom (Shelley): It's not. It's
a squid, Ren. You're all right.
Ren: Can I just point out, that
even though I can't blame you
since you didn't
understand it at the time,
I was pointing out I wanted to
be a girl when I was like, four.
Luca: OK Ren, you say
that like, every single day.
Mom (Shelley): When Ren was
probably about four in preschool
she asked us if
she might be a girl.
And at the time we didn't know
anyone who was transgender
and we had no idea.
Dad (Chris): Here is
the superhero Sting.
He can't get in the kitchen
because of the giant wall.
What will he do?
Ren: I will KNOCK it down!
Dad (Chris): OK you
can knock it down. I got it.
Dad (Chris): RAWR! Ren:
Mom (Shelley): And we just
said No you're too much of a boy
to be a girl.
Ren: Let's do that again!
Ren: She's very easygoing.
Didn't say another thing
until many years later.
(Ren): and obey
the Law of the Pack!
Mom (Shelley): We were on
vacation and she told Luca.
But they kept it
between themselves.
So we didn't find out until
Luca came out to us later.
Luca: The first time
I came out to them,
I wrote them a letter.
And I left it before
I went to school.
And I come home from school
and we got in a big argument about it.
Dad (Chris): But then Luca
said Never mind forget about it.
We didn't hear much else about
it until he started high school.
Mom (Shelley): He was failing
in school and I had no idea why.
And then he said "it's
because I'm still Luca."
And at that point I said,
Fine. Be Luca.
Luca: I dont know, it felt like
they were being supportive, but
looking back on it they were
really just confused and upset.
Mom (Shelley): Oh I see.
[mumble] Ren's picture.
You want to see the pictures?
They're giving examples of cards
and stuff but this is the picture.
Luca: That's cute.
Mom (Shelley): But the grandparents
aren't goint to want any pictures
so we don't really have
to get wallet pictures.
Luca: Why aren't the
grandparents going to want pictures?
Because they hate us.
Mom (Shelley): They hate us now.
Because I don't think that.
I don't know.
Ren: Why do they hate us?
Mom (Shelley):
If they're gonna...
Maybe Grammy will. Grammy Helen.
I can guarantee you that
my parents won't want one
Cause they don't
even want to see Ren,
so why would they
want to see a picture?
Ren: Why? Why don't
they want to see me?
Mom (Shelley): It
was a tough year.
One of the hardest things was
thinking since both kids were
transgender that people would
be less accepting of either of them.
That people would think that
Ren just was emulating Luca.
And then they would blame
Luca for influencing Ren.
And this did happen in
some of the extended family.
They would talk to me and we'd
have these awkward conversations
where they would be saying.
They know that I'm just trying
to be a good parent but there
are better ways to parent than to
let your child change gender and
Dad (Chris): Is this a phase?
and couldn't let us be gay? and
things like that.
Well no, that's not. It's
not really our choice.
Mom (Shelley): I
worry about the kids.
And there's a
strain on our family
that goes beyond
normal young adulthood.
Every family has
those challenges.
But then we have
this extra layer.
Sometimes it's
just a big struggle.
it's gonna be a scorcher today
here in coastal Connecticut
with temperatures
reaching into the 90s,
so stay hydrated, folks!
The race is also heating up for
the 2016 presidential election.
Now, according to polls Hillary
Clinton is holding a narrow lead
against Donald Trump
with Gary Johnson
coming in a distant third.
Both candidates are gearing
up for next month's debates
and the theory is
the hot topic will be...
Ren: I wonder
how long it'll take for
Bella and Callia to get here.
Mom (Shelley): Yeah you know
I didn't hear back from their mom
this morning so.
Ren: I definitely
hope they're coming.
Mom (Shelley): I know
I hope they come, too.
What would you like, Kiddo?
Are you hungry?
Ren: A bit.
Mom (Shelley): So. Ren,
Your friends.
It looks like aren't
going to make it.
Ren: Now I don't want to stay.
Mom (Shelley): You know
sometimes people get pretty busy
in the summer.
Ren: I want to just go
as soon as I finish pizza.
Mom (Shelley): Well give us
a few minutes and I'll talk to
people and see if
they're ready to go.
Maybe we'll all go back up.
Ren's had a really
hard time this year.
She doesn't make
friends very easily
and that gives her anxiety.
Right now she doesn't
have any friends in her class.
She does have a couple
of friends on the bus.
She just struggles.
Ren doesn't tell us much.
She's very independent and
she likes to try and take care of
things herself.
And this can be a
difficulty sometimes.
Ren: I was being
bullied for a while.
I don't really know why
they were going after me.
Though they singled me out.
And I was trying to deal
with that for as long as I could
before it was really necessary
to have someone intervene.
Mom (Shelley): I asked Ren if
it had to do with her being trans
and she said for
three of them it did.
But she talked to them
and two of them stopped.
But one would curse at
her and call her names.
Ren: Someone was
physically attacking me.
At one point they actually tried
to choke me for some reason.
I ended up reporting it.
Mom (Shelley): We had a meeting
then at the school the next day.
She had talked to the
kids first herself and I said
that's very courageous, but
in a situation like that
you need to tell an adult.
You don't have to
handle this all by yourself.
Ren: I just wish that they could
just feel more sympathetic and
then that would cause less
bullying and discrimination
if they knew what it was like.
Luca: Depression is like...
it's not really being
sad so much as like
You're just not really anything.
During the period of time
when I was really depressed
I just didn't draw at all.
Even though that's one
of my favorite things to do.
And I just like I didn't
really have the motivation
to do anything.
Mom (Shelley): When he was 14,
around Thanksgiving time he
had taken an overdose of aspirin.
From 14 to 15, he
didn't laugh anymore.
I don't know how much that
has to do with the body dysphoria
or just the anxiety and
depression of being a teen.
When he first came
home from the hospital
it was a tense time.
We just knew he was on the edge.
He was cutting himself.
And I know that that
is a common thing
among gender questioning kids.
Cutting will raise
endorphins in the body
and it gives a sense of control.
I think he still cuts
himself, but rarely now.
He goes to therapy and he
still sees a psychiatrist and still
takes medications and so long
as he's doing those things and
learning coping skills...
If that's what he
needs to do to cope
so that he's not going
to take an overdose...
Cutting looks really bad.
But it's a completely
survivable coping mechanism.
Oh it is chilly.
Glad I have a coat.
Ren: Meow.
Mom (Shelley): Make
yourself comfortable.
Luca: I don't really like people
knowing my birth name because I
want people know me just
as Luca and nothing else.
And even if they're
respectful enough
to not call me my birth
name if they know it
I don't want it to be something
in the back of their head.
Dad (Chris): I never felt I lost
a daughter and gained a son,
although I suppose I lost a
daughter and gained a son
and vice versa.
But I think Shelley had more
of a loss attached to that.
Mom (Shelley): Are you
guys hungry for lunch?
Oh we have coupons for Denny's.
Dad (Chris): Shelley
had chosen both of
our children's birth names.
They had Shelly's name and
then they had their own name that
they chose.
Mom (Shelley): It
was just difficult at first.
Especially with Luca.
There was a period of time
where I would just start to cry if I
even thought his birth name.
And didn't want to see
pictures or any of that.
It was just all really
disturbing to me.
It had nothing to do with not
wanting him to be who he was.
It was just grieving.
Ren: Will you pass me the iPad?
Mom (Shelley): It was
a really confusing time.
Ok, Luca pass that to Ren.
Ren: Stop holding it
just out of my reach!
Luca: You can reach it.
Mom (Shelley): I don't
know how to raise a son.
I mean this is really
more of Chris's purview.
But Chris doesn't
really worry about things.
I do all the worrying.
That's how that works out.
Ren: Luca?
Luca: What?
Ren: When we get back home,
Can I try on your old dress from
when you did Little Miss Westie?
Luca: I don't know
if we still have it.
We probably do.
Dad (Chris): We went to
our first family fun weekend
about a year ago.
Mom (Shelley): We
felt very strange at first.
Ren: Having two kids who are
transgender, we just thought you
know is there
something wrong with us?
Parent: One of the great things
about having an opportunity like
is you get to connect with
people that you might not
otherwise have the
opportunity to connect with
and talk about
things in a safe space
where you can say
anything you want.
You know there be a lot of moms
and dads out there who have so
many questions about how
you came to those decisions.
Mom (Shelley): And then we've
met other parents and saw that
about one in six families had
more than one child who was
on the gender spectrum.
So that was really great
because we didn't feel so odd.
Parent: Got a head start with
Tavish being assigned male at
birth but now with Draygon
assigned female at birth I'm
expecting maybe
some different issues.
So I'm Jody, mom of five.
Three, sorry - four
cisgender and one trans.
I've been coming for
a long time as well.
Really enjoy it.
I think I want all my kids
to see other people with just
bodies tha are varied.
Shapes and presentations.
Dad (Chris): I'm Chris, I'm here with
my son Luca and my daughter Ren.
Last year and coming here
was a very pivotal moment.
I'm just excited to
be here this year.
Mom (Shelley): I'm Shelly
last year I was just in this group
crying and
this year I feel like I have
my feet on the ground.
So I think it's important to
always come back when your feet
are on the ground
and then they're not.
Parent: So we talk
about up until junior high.
And whether your
cisgender or transgender,
Junior High is
just terrible years.
I don't know if there
really is a fix for junior high!
There is a 500 pound
gorilla in the room
that nobody is talking
about. The political climate
has really changed.
With the lack of
tolerance and hate
that's going on in our country,
It's a scary time.
All of a sudden everybody
has an opinion on whether or not
my kid should be
on blockers or not.
Sometimes I just don't have
it in me to be that front man.
Recently I went to church and
you know I just kind of cried.
There was a female pastor.
She gave me the same
which I've been holding on to.
I, woman, control this spot.
And not this around us, not
friends, not politics, not school
not your kids, the hormones.
None of it.
Nothing. We control nothing.
But I, woman, control this
spot. This body, this flesh,
this heart. And
that's all we can do.
Mom (Shelley): Last year
we came here for Luca's sake
and Luca actually
had a terrible time.
Mom (Shelley): He wasn't
doing hormones or anything.
A lot of the other teen boys
were much further in transition.
So he really felt out of place.
He just wanted to stay in
the room by himself last year.
But then on the other hand
Ren was making friends and
doing all these things
that she hadn't done before.
Ren's always been very very
anxious and it just went away
for the weekend.
Ren: I tried to have some
things that are dark and bleak
yet some which still bring joy.
Mom (Shelley): She was so happy.
And she said she
wanted to be a girl full time
rather than just at home.
So as soon as we get
back we called the school
and started that process.
Pageant Coordinator: Pageant
day all contestants should arrive at
nine thirty.
Nine thirty is the time
to start getting ready.
It gets hectic in
the dressing room.
Hectic hectic.
There's so many people in there.
Everyone's trying
to get dressed.
Everyone's trying to get
changed and only so many outlets,
so try to do as much of
the prep at home as you can
Luca: For the Liittle
Miss Westie Pageant
I hope she's going to win.
I don't know. She
Is really pretty.
I think she'll have
a lot of fun with it.
Pageant Coordinator: Go down
the checklist - ads are due March 1st.
Go in your folder, there
is a form for t shirts.
Ren: I am excited.
Yet also very nervous.
Pageant Coordinator: You do not
have to order a t shirt for your child...
Ren: I would like to win.
It would be nice.
Luca wants me want to
work in that I'm transgender
I just don't particularly
care whether they think I'm
cis or transgender.
As long as they
know that I'm a girl.
Mom (Shelley): There were
smaller ones but I can't find...
Dad (Chris): There's one.
You guys are gonna be late.
Mom (Shelley): Okay, we'll just
take that. Leave that all packed up.
You're fine.
You stay here Mackie.
I mean Luca you
have your phone...
Oh you have the paperwork. I
just shoved everything in here.
Hillary Clinton and last night
Donald Trump held a
big rally in Cincinnati.
Trump: Almost every
single poll had us winning
against crooked Hillary
Clinton, big leauge.
Mom (Shelley): Turn it off.
Ren: I'm going to have
my puberty blockers put in.
I feel a bit nervous.
My friend Bridget who
had the implant in April
called this morning
and helped reassure me about it.
I don't want to have a
puberty because I just
really don't want to grow
a beard or something.
To have my voice deepen.
Things like that.
Stop that! Stop that!
Luca: Why are you so annoying?
Mom (Shelley): Chris!
Don't do annoying things.
Nurse: How we doing? Mom?
Mom (Shelley): Yes.
Ren: I'm looking
at... I'm looking at
fancy flying sheep.
Nurse: You're
looking at lime sheep?
Dad (Chris): Fancy flying sheep.
Nurse: Oh! flying sheep.
I thought you said lime sheep
and I was waiting for
the color to be lime.
I'm going to be the
nurse in the back.
I just wanted to come and
ask a couple of questions.
Now is it pronounced ANgelis?
Mom (Shelley): AnGELis.
She goes by Ren, though.
Nurse: Ok.
All right, my friend
we're just going to set up
and I will see you
in the back shortly.
Surgeon: Nice to meet you.
We haven't met.
I'm Emily. Nice
to see you again.
Ren: This is a.
Surgeon: That's a sheep?
Ren: Is a flying formal
sheep. This is a flying llama.
Surgeon: That that
looks like a llama.
Yeah I was going to
say. That looks much
more like a llama than a sheep.
Do you have any questions for me
about where we're
going to do today?
Ren: I think I understand.
It will, at least temporarily
stop the male hormones.
Surgeon: Ok. All right.
Ren: I'm going
to quickly though.
Mom (Shelley): Ren,
finish talking to the surgeon
before you play your game.
Ren: I wasn't going to play a
game. I was going to look at
pictures of cats.
Surgeon: You guys have
any questions about...
Mom (Shelley): No.
Surgeon: So tiny little
incision in the arm,
the whole thing takes
about five minutes.
It's water resistant
but not waterproof.
It won't be
uncomfortable at all.
And we'll meet again in two
years to discuss whether we
should take it out,
switch it over, or just
take it out or whatever.
Mom (Shelley): Ok.
I'll see you in a few minutes.
Ren: Ok fine I'll
look at this picture.
Mom (Shelley): It's a relief.
It takes a lot of anxiety
off of her as well.
Dad (Chris): Things are
starting to unfold at the right time
for them and for us.
Before any kind of physical
medical interventions
took place there was the
mental medical interventions.
Discussion with their therapists
and discussion with
their psychologists.
As we were kind of
wrapping our heads around it
we didn't know if it was
something permanent
or maybe it was a phase
we weren't quite sure yet.
By the time we were making those
decisions we were convinced that
the children's affirmed
genders are their genders.
That's who they are and that's
how they're going to be happier.
Luca: She's so pretty. If she
was nicer she could be a model.
Dad (Chris): The puberty, blocker
it's something that if it was taken out
it would just be a short delay.
Other concerns around that are
around the bone development,
which we try to supplement
with calcium and some exercise.
With Luca and the testosterone
it's a bit more of a concern as
just there are
irreversible side effects.
But the benefits far far
outweigh any drawbacks that
could come as a result.
Mom (Shelley): When we
got started we had this fear that
it's all going to be
about gender all the time.
And after a fairly
short amount of time
it turns out not to be that.
They're just kids being kids.
The kids are getting
ready for Miss Westy
trying Luca's dresses from when
he was still living as a girl.
Ok guys are you ready
for Ren? Outfit number one!
Luca: You look so cute.
I'm sending that to
my streaks friend.
What the hell are you doing?
Ren: I'm just stretching.
Luca: I think she should
go with one that has sleeves
like short sleeves or something.
Like short sleeves or something. Mom (Shelley): We
don't have sleeves, but we have that little jacket
Mom (Shelley): We don't have
sleeves, but we have that little jacket
that you had to
go with this one.
Luca: Also I don't see the
one you're holding out but.
Mom (Shelley): It was
intense doing Little Miss Westy
with Luca.
We had to get
just the right outfits.
Ren: I have a white dress.
Luca: Yeah, I know but
that's not a fancy dress.
No, this is not OK.
Never mind.
Mom (Shelley): "No! It's not
sparkly enough!" kind of thing.
We're good.
So it's a different
experience with Ren.
Ren: Do you think I should do
this with or without the jacket?
Luca: With.
Ren: Ok.
Luca: I like that one better.
Ren: Yeah it's nicer.
Luca: If you do those
poses for the pageant,
they're going to kick you out.
Mom (Shelley): Ren's kind
of like, "can I just wear my
Pusheen pajamas?"
Luca: It's plausible that
they won't kick her out but it's
possible that they will.
Luca: Did you get that?
Mom (Shelley): Hey you want
to play some of your piano?
Ren: Ok.
Mom (Shelley): She's
nervous about what she will do
for this talent,
and it's basically
something that she's made up.
For Ren, the take away
is a little bit of confidence.
She can tend to
be very very shy.
Mainly, I'd like
them to have fun.
[RADIO ANNOUNCER]: Time Magazine
has named President Elect Donald Trump
The 2016 Person of the Year.
Mom (Shelley): Oh my gosh.
Time magazine named Donald
Trump Person of the Year.
Luca: Seriously?
Mom (Shelley): Does
it necessarily mean?
It's not necessarily
good, Person of the Year
Luca: That's what
I was about to say.
It's the most iconic.
Mom (Shelley): Most iconic
person of the year. Excellent.
Mom (Shelley): Most iconic person of the year.
Excellent. Luca: I know. I said it better than he did.
Luca: I know. I said
it better than he did.
Mom (Shelley): We
went to our support group
for the parents of trans kids,
and the guy who facilitates
he said that the night of the
election his phone basically
turned into a suicide hotline.
Because Pence is
pro conversion therapy
which is basically
electrocuting LGBT kids.
So you know a lot of
really really scared kids.
He told us then you've got to
try and get the federal
documents done.
Then we found out about this
emergency gender
marker changing clinic
right in New Haven.
Doctor: Nice to meet you. A.C.
Mom (Shelley): This is Luca.
Doctor: Luca, A.C.
Nice to meet you.
Doctor: Ren, I like your ears.
There'll be some medical
students that will sit with you
to help you fill out
some paperwork first.
Mom (Shelley): Ok.
Hot off the presses.
Their name change
was this morning.
Doctor: So we'll try to get you
in and out as fast as possible
because you look like you're
ready to go home already.
Mom (Shelley): Everybody's
scrambling to get this paperwork
done before the inauguration
because everybody's
afraid of what might happen.
Medical Student: And
which young person
are we taking care of today?
Mom (Shelley): Both of them.
Medical Student: Both?
Mom (Shelley): They
are both transgender.
Medical Student: Ok.
So. Let me get
you two copies then.
Mom (Shelley): Chris you'll
fill out for... you can do Ren
and I'll do Luca.
I hate filling out forms.
I always make mistakes.
That one.
Medical Student: Yup.
Dad (Chris): This one over here
should I be using her new name?
Because all of the records
would be in the old name.
Medical Student:
Uuuuuhm, the new name.
Luca: No, you spelled it wrong!
Mom (Shelley): Stop that.
Medical Student: What does
the name say on all the other....
Mom (Shelley): Oh
well so I only filled out
new name and former name.
And I have a name
change form letters.
Medical Student: Oh, you do!
Ok, then put the name...
Mom (Shelley): Oh
yeah, that's right!
We only changed it today, so
Medical Student:
Everything's still new. Yeah.
Mom (Shelley): And are
we doing a picture here or?
Mom (Shelley): And are we doing a picture
here or? Doctor: Yup! They can do the picture.
Doctor: Yup! They
can do the picture.
Mom (Shelley): She hates
leaving her eyes open for pictures.
Good job!
Doctor: All right. Next!
Mom (Shelley): What do
passports cost? Like $100?
Luca: Wait, we have
to pay for them?!?
Mom (Shelley): You always
have to pay for passports.
Hey! That was a
nice picture of you.
You're so photogenic.
Luca: I won a photogenic award
when I was in
Little Miss Westie.
Mom (Shelley): We're all done.
Thank you so much.
It's scary but you just tell
your kids that you are going to
take care of them.
You're going to protect them.
There's nothing for
them to worry about.
Ren: Bye!
Mom (Shelley): And
meanwhile in the background
you try and get all these
things done that you can.
Luca: Her favorite
color is purple.
Or we can get her a white one.
Whichever one is prettiest.
What's the difference
between lavender and lilac?
Mom (Shelley): I see
lilac as a dustier color.
My son needs just
a small simple flower
for the girl he's
taking to a dance.
Shopkeeper: Did you have
anything special in mind?
A rose or a carnation?
Probably a carnation.
He was hoping for...
Luca: Something cheap!
Luca: Something cheap! Mom
(Shelley): Something lavender colored.
Mom (Shelley):
Something lavender colored.
Or white.
We'll take white.
Luca: It doesn't have
to have a pin on it though
I can just give
her like, a flower.
Mom (Shelley): Ok.
Shopkeeper: You want
to leave it this long?
Luca: Yes.
Shopkeeper: Ok. You want some
baby's breath
and greens with it?
Mom (Shelley): Yeah.
Luca: What's that?
Mom (Shelley):
It'll make it pretty.
Mom (Shelley): It'll make
it pretty. Luca: Oh! Yeah.
Luca: Oh! Yeah.
Shopkeeper: Ok.
Luca: Ren already
has enough cats.
This is cute.
But literally like
how much is this?
Because she would
actually really love this dog.
I'm not kidding.
She loves little
cute things like this.
Mom (Shelley): And also this.
So put that in the
refrigerator so it stays fresh.
Luca: All of it in
the refregerator?
Mom (Shelley): You don't have to
put the stuffed animal in the refrigerator.
You did well.
Luca what's the
deal with the dance?
Do you bring the ten dollars
to school or to the dance?
Luca: To school.
Mom (Shelley): Ok.
Are you still cold?
Luca: I am still cold. So.
Mom (Shelley): So
you can put the heat on.
Just don't put it blasting.
Are you excited to be
going to Yale today?
Luca: Yeah... but like I mean
I would be more
excited if I knew
for sure what was
going to happen.
Mom (Shelley): You know if
they don't give you hormones today
that they will probably say
"well, we'll look at you again
in a couple of months."
They're not going
to just say "No."
"We're never giving
you hormones."
Luca: Yeah.
Obviously, I know that.
But I want them today.
Mom (Shelley): You
want the shot right? Not....
Luca: Yeah. Because I don't
know. Like, the different options.
I think there's like a
patch and gel and a shot.
I don't know.
The thing with the gel
was once you put it on
you can't touch anybody
because you might
get like, testosterone
in their system.
The shot works faster than the
gel and the other thing anyway.
Plus, I don't want to not
be able to touch anyone.
Mom (Shelley): I'm trying to
remember the schedule of things.
So you don't start getting
body hair for like, six months?
Muscles sooner.
Luca: Yeah.
Mom (Shelley): And then body
hair and then deeper voice?
Was that like the
same time as body hair?
Luca: Yeah.
Mom (Shelley): Is the
first thing that happens is
your period stops?
That's the first thing?
Luca: I think so.
Mom (Shelley): Although I guess
because the first two shots are
not overlapping and it's going
up and down you might still get
not overlapping and it's going up and down you might
still get a period when the testosterone is at a low.
A period when the
testosterone is at a low.
Luca: Not much
is going to happen
after the first two
shots anyway.
Basically what I want to happen
once I'm on T is to look like
Francis Wilkerson.
Mom (Shelley): From
Malcolm in the Middle?
He's obviously, he's
masculine-looking but he's
a little more feminine-looking.
Like, I think you probably
will look a lot like him.
Luca: And I also want to
have like, facial hair and like,
a deeper voice, obviously.
Mom (Shelley): I mean
I would think, though,
I'm just guessing
that you would have
similar characteristics
to Daddy.
Luca: But he's so ugly!
Mom (Shelley): He's not ugly.
Well, that's who you're
most likely to look like.
Luca: Her mom, like, doesn't
want us going to the dance
I guess? I don't understand why.
Mom (Shelley): Once you're
there, aren't you kind of...
Luca: Well, I mean, I like,
I can't give her the flower
and the dog anymore
'cause then she'll
come home with it
and her mom will be mad at me.
Mom (Shelley): Well, ask her
if she still wants you to give her
the flower and the dog.
Are you texting her right now?
Luca: Yes. Obviously.
Mom (Shelley): So
did she text you back?
Luca: Yeah. She said still
wants the dog and flower.
Mom (Shelley):
Oh, well that's good.
Does she know why her mom is.
Saying this?
Luca: I don't understand
what she has against me.
Mom (Shelley): Well... if she
was from a religious family,
Iris might have something
against you being trans.
Luca: She doesn't.
She's not from a religious
family and she's always
of me being trans.
And I thought Iris liked
me. But like, whatever.
Mom (Shelley): Yeah.
Yeah, it doesn't seem fair.
I mean, it's not fair.
Luca: Her mom says it's
cause she's 'leading me on.'
And I was like "I
don't even like you,"
"like, at all, like that."
And she's like "Yeah
I told my mom that."
Mom (Shelley): It's, um...
I mean, I'm sorry to say,
but it's going to be something
that you're going to face.
Luca: It's not
because I'm trans!
I don't
Oh my fucking God.
It's that's not why!
That has absolutely
nothing to do with it.
So like.
Mom (Shelley): Ok.
Luca: Because it's...
Mom (Shelley): It's supposed
to be playing right now.
It's showing minutes going by.
It's not making
any sound, Chris.
By the time he'd been on
testosterone for a month
he just went from
energy that was like this
you know and just, tense.
And then after about a month
of testosterone he just went from
like up here, to aaaah.
Like an exhale, just down here.
Luca: I can't. I can
just text people.
Mom (Shelley): So now
we enjoy being around him.
He's still a teenager.
So, you know, he still can
be crabby and all of that stuff.
But before, when he would be in
a bad mood, we would be worried.
You know, is this gonna be
another visit to the psych ward?
We don't worry
about that anymore.
Group facilitator: So
we're gonna get started.
So we'll do
Name, pronouns.
Preferred pronouns.
Teen Group Member: I'm
Mave, I use she/her pronouns.
A boy told me that I was
statuesque and a raven beauty
and I've never
heard that before.
Tony: Good. That's great.
Teen Group Member:
That's still nice to hear.
People don't like to be
told they're transphobic
even if they're
being transphobic.
I like to turn around and be
like, "It's funny that you say
'Yas Queen' to me because
I'm not a drag queen.
You know a drag
queen deserves that.
I'm just being me."
Luca: Luca, he/him.
My highlight is that
yesterday I went to Shake Shack
and then to Sky
Zone with friends.
Teen Group Member: I've been
on testosterone for eight months,
and my lowlight is
that I got my period, or as I like
to call my "estrogen emergency"
twice in the past month.
Tony: Who else?
Oh, go ahead.
Teen Group Member: School
has been like a really big challenge
for me because I feel
really isolated from my peers.
Tony: I see these kids
when they come in,
and I see how sad
they can be or how
depressed they are, and how
broken and beaten down they are
and it's not because
they're trans.
It's because people around
them are telling them they're not.
And Luca was struggling.
But today, Luca is
this amazing human
who is putting
themselves out there
to help people behind them.
That is huge!
Luca: About like being
isolated at school and stuff
and not being
treated like a cis guy.
I know when I first came out,
I kind of had the same
problem that you did.
I think by next
school year people will
start seeing and
treating you differently.
As the effects of T keep
coming, I think it'll keep changing.
Teen Group Member: I'm
sure everyone here knows.
I know it's like to be isolated.
My whole high school
experience was that.
And I think a lot of
trans people think that
once they come
out all of a sudden
all these inner struggles end.
They simmer down, but then
that's when the real fight starts.
Out in the real world.
That's when you
have to start battling
to be recognized as who you are.
Ren: Whaat do you
have to do to win a crown?
Do you have to be first? Do
you get one if you're second?
Mom (Shelley): They
have ribbons for everything.
And then they have, like
what? First, second, third?
Luca: They have
a bunch of crowns.
They have the Best Talent,
and Best Costume and
then they have the Best Overall
which is a crown
it's like this big.
Ren: I want a crown
to put on my Pusheen.
Ren: I want a crown to put on my Pusheen. Luca: If you
talk about Pusheens you're not going to win a crown.
Luca: If you talk about Pusheens
you're not going to win a crown.
Mom (Shelley): Go get your
Doctor Who dress that we got.
Dad (Chris): It's the
Tardis from Doctor Who.
Mom (Shelley): It's for
the personality section.
Luca: For the personality thing
we should've dressed her up in
like trans colors.
Mom (Shelley): Well that's
what she was going to do
that blow up...
Luca: Yeah but that's
not the same! We're not.
We're trying to show
them that she's trans.
Mom (Shelley): I know
you're committed to this.
Ren, It's OK. You can
just have fun with it.
But Luca is very serious
about Miss Westie.
I'm going to call up
something on Google,
Ren, and then you can...
Ren: Say Pusheen?
Mom (Shelley): So, Luca
what should I search for?
All right, what have we got?
Ok. I'm booted out.
Try "middle school girl
shoulder length hair."
Or you can try the age.
Luca: These are
hairstyles not haircuts.
These are hairstyles
not haircuts.
Mom (Shelley): So do the
same thing but change it to cuts.
Luca: You guys can
look up your own.
Mom (Shelley): Try again.
Ren: That is obviously
Luca: How about this?
Mom (Shelley): Do you like that?
Luca: Do you like that one?
Mom (Shelley):
Isn't it kind of sloppy?
See I like this because
it's like, thinner?
Do you like that?
Luca: That's, like,
a 50 year old lady.
Ren: Wait wait wait.
Mom (Shelley): Oh.
Ren: But yeah. I mean.
Luca: I hope you understand
and I feel like you haven't
understood this for a long time.
But that's a cartoon character.
Ren: I do understand.
I'm just saying that
is a good length.
Mom (Shelley): Yeah.
That's a good length. Good.
Luca: What about like short
with kind of wispy bangs like that?
Ren: The bangs look good.
Mom (Shelley):
Yeah. I like that too.
We've made a decision.
Luca, what did you
do for Ren's face?
Let me see your makeup.
Luca: So I'm not going to do
her eyes and lips as dark as that.
Because that was just for fun.
Ren: Can't I have cat face?
Luca: The thing is, I'm not
allowed in the dressing rooms.
Dad (Chris): No, boys aren't
allowed in the dressing room, Ren.
Luca: Yeah.
So I can't be
redoing your makeup.
Mom (Shelley): You
look like a model.
I didn't know it was you.
Ren: Ok.
Actually we do need
someone to help fix its spine.
Luca: It's so creepy.
Look at it's head!
It looks like you
broke its neck.
Dad (Chris): When Luca
competed in the pageant
he was very disappointed
when he didn't come
back with the main trophy.
Mom (Shelley): He's been
so committed to Ren winning
he watched Dance Moms and
he watched Toddlers and Tiaras.
And this is where he's learned
how to be a stage brother.
Dad (Chris): Hey Luca,
can you help Ren work on
some of her poses?
Luca: All her poses are this.
Like, I tried telling her like to
not do that because it's weird
but she doesn't care or listen.
I mean, if she wants to
lose like, it's whatever.
All right.
Does twirling count as
a pose? It does, right?
All right.
No, not like that. Not
so that you fall over.
All right.
Mom (Shelley): Watch Luca.
Luca: When you twirl
look at one thing, so you can
look at someone in the audience,
I'm gonna look at Mommy, right?
And then keep looking at
her and then turn around.
Ok. Look at her
almost the whole time.
And it helps you not fall...
You don't have to put
your hands like that!
No. Not like this.
I don't know why
you're doing that.
You know what's weird?
The fact that I keep talking,
but she keeps
not listening to me.
On your hip, not your waist.
Does she not understand that
she has to look pretty, not crazy?
Just look at...
Oh my God!
Hip. Hip. Where's your hip?
That's your butt.
Where is your hip?
Ren. Pay attention.
As I turn, my head is on her,
and I only stop looking at her
when I turn....
Pay attention to me!
Ren: I was!
I am trying to figure
out what you're doing!
Luca: That's why I keep showing
you and telling you but you're
not paying attention.
Mom (Shelley): Don't stress
her out. She doesn't have to twirl.
Luca: I'm not.
I was just saying..! Oh my god.
Ren, I wasn't trying to be mean.
I just meant, like, it seemed like
you weren't listening to me. Okay?
Just come back out.
Ren: Just that you're being very
commanding and making me do it
in an exact way.
Luca: What poses do you
want to do then? Because...
Ren: It's just a pageant.
Luca: Ok.
Obviously she
doesn't want to win.
So I'm not going
to help her anymore
if she doesn't wanna win.
Then what's the point?
Mom (Shelley): All right, Ren.
Get pajamas and you'll bring
them up I will start the bath.
Ren: Fine!
Mom (Shelley): She
didn't like to take baths.
For years and years, we
didn't know why this was.
She was just very
bad with the self care.
Then at the parents'
support group
someone was
talking about their kid
not wanting to see their penis.
So now she always
has a bubble bath.
OK, Ren, did you
get your pajamas?
It used to be cheap bubble bath
and now she has moved up to
lavender scented bubble bath.
It's quite the production but
it's it's so much better for her
and now she doesn't
mind taking baths.
There's always that worry
in the back of my head that I
try not to think about too much,
which is their physical safety.
The hardest hardest thing. We
were in our support group and
one of the dads whose
daughter is in her 20s now
she was never going to get
bottom surgery where they would
change the penis to a vagina.
But then she started talking
about that with her father and
he said "but you never wanted
to do that before. Why now?"
And and she said, "well Dad, I
was thinking if I'm ever attacked
a rape could easily
turn into a murder."
And it just stopped my heart.
And so I always think of
that you know with Ren.
That these things that are
dangerous for young women
you know it just ups it so much.
So there's that physical danger
as well as, you know, wondering
about their mental health
and fitting in and stuff.
I'm a little bit nervous that in the
Little Miss Westie dressing room,
is someone going to make an
issue of Ren being transgender?
Will they even know?
I don't know.
I'm just kind of
preparing in my head.
If someone says something
about "this is the girls room" I can
just say Ren's a girl.
In fact, i'm going to
pack her passport with me
which says that she's a girl.
All right, Ren!
Where did you put your lemonade?
Dad (Chris): I
put it in her room.
Mom (Shelley): Oh. Daddy
put your lemonade in your room.
So why don't you go
in and get your show.
You want to switch the
light to the little light?
Or you can put the
Pusheen lights on.
Ren: Daddy, can
you bring in the llama?
Mom (Shelley): Hey, Luca!
You haven't seen Ren's
Doctor Who dress have you?
We lost the Doctor Who dress.
Is it with the other dresses?
Ren: I'll look in my drawer.
Mom (Shelley): It might
be upstairs in my room.
Let me call up to Dad.
Chris it's me.
I'm coming in.
We can't find the dress.
Dad (Chris): Is
it in the closet?
Mom (Shelley): We've
looked everywhere.
We can't find it.
Luca: I think I have a
skeleton dress she can wear.
Mom (Shelley): And you definitely
have not seen the TARDIS dress?
Luca: I - no.
I haven't.
Mom (Shelley): Ok.
It's very strange
that we lost a dress.
Luca: Good! See
how pretty that is?
Come closer.
This is the shimmery
stuff that'll go on your eyes.
Ren: Ok.
Luca: Shut your eyes.
Ooh, I put too much on.
There's cat hair on
the makeup brush.
Dad (Chris): Hurry up you
guys are going to be late.
Mom (Shelley): We have
to leave in 15 minutes.
Luca: All right. Well.
Mom (Shelley): I know.
Beauty takes time.
Luca: Smile.
Mom (Shelley): The hair
straightener is on top of the fish tank.
We really have to rush.
Luca: Ok.
Then we will really rush.
Mom (Shelley): I'm. not
used to seeing you in makeup.
You look very pretty.
Be loud and clear when you
answer your question, Ok?
Ren: I'll try.
Mom (Shelley): Oh boy.
We're gonna be late.
Ren: Ok.
We have everything ready.
Mom (Shelley): Yeah.
We packed the car.
Oh! A brush!
Gotta bring a brush.
We're going in Daddy's car.
Ren, when we get there, you
rush right to the stage because
they're doing the rehearsal.
Oh, I'm sure they say 9:30 just
to get people there early enough.
We should've gotten
up earlier today.
I just -
Luca: It's literally
9:31. It's Ok..
Mom (Shelley): I'm going to
have to get a spot, too, because
those women can be vicious!
It's unbelievable back
there in the dressing room!
I mean, we got here at 9:30 but
the dressing room is like -
I had to go all the way
in the back to get two chairs.
Luca: Oh.
Mom (Shelley): And
we are just squished
so that all our stuff is
on these twolittle chairs.
Because people are spread out
with, like, make up, and
dresses hanging. 3000 dresses.
It's crazy.
Luca: Oh, they're so cute!
None of them can spin.
They're so adorable.
Mom (Shelley): Same dance, see?
You could have taught it to Ren.
I'm sure you still know it.
All right, let me
go sign Ren in.
So you are number 40.
So most of the things that
you do you'll go out you'll be the
fortieth in line.
We'll look up who's
number thirty nine.
I'll go over the
program with you.
Ren: What is this room
used for for Little Miss Westie?
Mom (Shelley): Oh! it's the
changing and make up room.
This is the backstage room.
Ren: Where would someone change?
Mom (Shelley): Well,
that's why I told you
you just change here.
We just quickly switch clothes.
It's so fast.
And everyone's changing
and no one's looking at you.
And you have your...
That's why I knew you'd
want to wear the little bra.
LMW Emcee: Welcome everyone!
I'm so glad everyone can join us
today to watch the amazing girls
and boys strut their stuff.
And now it's time
for the talent section.
Enjoy the show.
My heart's far far away
...but they can't see
the light, that's right.
LMW Contestant: My name is
Sydney and I'm five years old,
and I'm really excited
to be in the show.
: She works the
night by the water
She's gone astray so far
away from my father's daughter.
...empty belly life
rotton smelly life
full of sorrow life
no tomorrow life
LMW Emcee: Next up, we have
Ren McCarthy.
Luca: Why aren't they listening?
Why won't they be quiet?
LMW Announcer: Hi, I
just want to ask everyone
to please be quiet when
kids are doing their talents
because it's really hard
for the judges to hear,
and if you want people
to be quiet for your kid
you should be quiet
for other people.
Thank you.
Ren: I'm feeling nervous.
Mom (Shelley): Just know this;
There's nothing
you could do wrong.
LMW Emcee: Tell us,
what famous person would
you like to be for a day?
LMW Contestant:
I would like to be
the Boston Bruins goalie because
I would love to be in an NHL
game and meet all the players.
LMW Emcee: What's the
hardest thing you've ever had to do
and how did you accomplish it?
LMW Contestant: The hardest
thing I've ever had to do is
not being able to speak to my
grandmother in Spain because I
don't speak Spanish.
But now I'm learning
how to speak Spanish
so I can speak to her.
LMW Emcee: Thank you.
Please welcome
Ren McCarthy.
Mom (Shelley): I have no
idea what Ren is going to do.
LMW Emcee: If you could
time travel, when would you go,
and why?
Ren: I would go back to
when I was three or four
and tell my parents that
I was a girl
rather than a boy.
And make sure that
they knew that back then.
Mom (Shelley): Woohoo Ren!
Luca: She did it!
LMW Emcee: Wow. I'm
at a loss of words for that!
LMW Announcer: Model for
Baby or Mini; Giovanna Harty.
Pageant Princess;
Emiliana Gonzalez.
Pageant Queen; Kiki Adamo.
Prettiest hair; for Pre-teen
or Teen; Rebecca Aranzo.
Prettiest eyes,
Petites; Isabelle Roche.
Cosume Pre-teen or
Teen; Kiki Johnson Woods.
Model for Little;
Olivia Moretti.
Personality Baby or
Mini; Leonna Fillogy.
Our Pre-teen category
this year's Pageant Sweetheart;
Ren McCathy!
Mom (Shelley): Ren! Woohoo!
A crown! Now she's happy.
Luca: Ren Ren Ren!
High five.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birhday, dear Luca
Happy birthday to you.
Luca's Friend: Does it?
Does it look like
he cut his hair?
Luca: Why is he wearing the hat?
No. Go back. Leave!
If I could go back in time
it would probably be to
when I came out the first time.
And just stuck with it.
Because I know,
like, in the moment
it was really stressful.
It was really upsetting.
if I stuck with it back then,
I could have gone
into high school
as Luca.
That was worse! That
was worse than the first!
I don't know if I would
really change that, actually.
Because I like my
group of friends.
And I like everything
that I'm doing.
I'm really excited for
the next school year.
So it doesn't really
matter anymore.
You messed up!
A lot has happened and like,
getting my name changed and
going on testosterone
and stuff like that.
I'm really glad that that
whole process is done.
I think that all the big major
challenges are done with and
now it's pretty much normal.
Luca's Friend:
Dad (Chris): I have some
concerns for their safety.
The biggest scare for me is that
they will feel unhappy
with themselves.
Because that's the
threat that's hardest
to protect them from.
As long as they're
happy with who they are
and they're feeling
comfortable and supported,
that's the most important thing.
Mom (Shelley): Oh, thank you.
It was tumultuous at first.
Before she transitioned, Ren
couldn't read at grade level.
She couldn't write a sentence.
She would get really
worked up about it.
She had this underlying anxiety
that put her base
levels so high,
that anything that added
a teeny bit of anxiety
put her over the edge.
After she transitioned, they
approached me and said
they didn't think
that she needed
the special education
services anymore.
They said she's one of the
smartest kids in the school.
And she's well above grade
level in reading and writing.
She can write pages now.
Ren: This is cheese pizza,
I don't know about
the other two.
Not as cheesy as my jokes.
Like that one.
Mom (Shelley): At this point
it seems odd that
we ever struggled.
Now I never think of them as
being a different gender
than they are right now.
Luca is my son.
Ren is my daughter.
now we're just the
McCarthys again.